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Perspectives on the 2010 BIO International Conference from two JHU employees

From May 3-6, more than 15,000 biotech industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries gathered in Chicago, Illinois, for the 2010 BIO International Convention, the world’s largest annual event for the biotechnology industry, during which a broad array of top-level speakers addressed critical global challenges and the top issues in biotech. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the Convention featured more than 125 breakout sessions across 17 tracks, addressing the latest scientific, policy and business opportunities and challenges facing the biotechnology industry today.

Below, we provide perspectives on the conference from two Johns Hopkins University employees.

From Montserrat Capdevila, Director of Sales, Marketing and International Relations, Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer Office

“Being my first time at BIO — and after working for weeks to set up a cool booth— my experience can be summarized in one phrase… the most tiring awesomeness!

"From the pre-conference events and the many receptions to plenary sessions, the gala, the pavilions and the giveaways, until I boarded the plane back home, BIO was the scientific ride of my life. Through its many events and sessions, BIO provided attendees with the networking and knowledge platform that they needed to navigate the global business of science.

"I met with dignitaries and executives of emerging economies. I learned that the region of Toulouse in France has a world-class cancer bio-cluster, that Georgia is aggressively marketing themselves as the next Bio-State, that Medicon Valley has more than 400 companies clustered in a little island between Denmark and Sweden, and that Al Gore (one of the plenary lunch speakers) once thought of becoming a restaurant owner!

"But even though BIO is inundated with a laundry list of tempting sessions and events, some of my best times were spent at our booth. This year, my office launched the new Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer (JHTT) app for the iPhone and the iPad. Available through the app store, the JHTT app provides a new door into the world of Johns Hopkins inventors and inventions. We had numerous curious visits and songs of praise by those who tried our app, and even Governor O’Malley checked it out!

"If you want to connect with the world of biotech, this is the conference to be at. In the words of Mark Twain, BIO is the place where one is free to 'explore, dream, and discover.' (Though, I admit, he may not have meant them in relation to this particular conference!)

"Don’t miss the ride!"

From Lynn Johnson Langer, Senior Associate Program Chair, Advanced Biotechnology Studies

Langer with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley at 2010 BIO International Conference

“It was exciting to be at the BIO Conference where Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley was named the BIO Governor of the Year. I had the honor to talk with O’Malley during the conference. He expressed great interest in the new JHU Center for Biotech Education.

“He was also particularly excited about our soon-to-be-launched Certificate in Biotechnology Education, a joint effort between the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Advanced Academic Programs and the School of Education.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The JHU Center for Biotech Education will expand the scope of Johns Hopkins’ biotechnology education by adding symposia, workshops, youth development programs and non-credit training to its current offering of graduate degrees, master’s certificates and fellowships. The Center is being unveiled on Thursday, May 13, at the fifth annual biotechnology research symposium, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Gilchrest Hall on the Montgomery County Campus.]

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